Pastor’s Column

Urban Church Planting: Rev. Efrem Smith

For our Urban Church Planting blog series, we are posting a recent blog Rev. Efrem Smith, President and CEO of World Impact wrote about being thick-skinned urban missionaries. He writes about how being thick-skinned for the Kingdom of God can only come about through intimacy with God, identity in Christ, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Only out of the overflow of this dynamic relationship can urban missionaries be used to empower the poor, strengthen the church, and transform communities.

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Pastor’s Column: Talking Politics vs. politics in Church

As we approach the 2016 Presidential election, we wanted to know how pastors are navigating the political season. Pastor Jeff Heidkamp, co-lead pastor of Mercy Vineyard Church writes about why he doesn’t think the Bible has anything to say about American “uppercase P” Politics, but has a lot to say about “lowercase p” politics. Pastor Jeff shares when he believes it is appropriate for a pastor to become partisan, and a practice he implements that helps him to gain empathy for those who see the world differently than he does.

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Pastor’s Column: Transcending the Political Chaos

As we approach the 2016 Presidential election, we wanted to know how pastors are navigating the political season. We asked a number of pastors to contribute as guest authors; some wouldn’t touch the topic with a 10 foot pole, others like Pastor Kory Kleinsasser, lead pastor at Waite Park Church agreed to write this thoughtful piece about transcending the political chaos. We are encouraged by Pastor Kory’s message of rising above fear, division and cynicism, and putting our trust in God knowing Jesus taught us to transcend the petty arguments of the day and to take an eternal, divine perspective.

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Former NFL Player Shares How God Used Injuries to Work in His Life

After winning a Super Bowl ring with the Indianapolis Colts, then playing with the Cincinnati Bengals, former University of Minnesota Gopher football player Ben Utecht retired from the NFL when a routine training drill resulted in his fifth documented concussion. Utecht writes a new book chronicling his life as an athlete, how multiple sports-related traumatic brain injuries have resulted in severe memory loss, and how his Christian faith has been the anchor in his life, which continues to keep him strong and grounded as he looks toward an uncertain future.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Jubilee Community Church

For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview pioneer church planters who, having firmly planted churches in urban areas of the Twin Cities, look back and share their wisdom and reflections. Here we interview John Erickson, lead pastor of Jubilee Community Church in South Minneapolis. John helped to plant another church in Brooklyn Center, MN before planting Jubilee in the Phillips neighborhood, where he grew up.

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Minn. Twins Pitcher Kyle Gibson Shares About his Faith and Faith Night

Kyle Gibson was drafted by Minnesota Twins in 2009, and got called up to the majors in 2013. We interviews Gibson about his faith and his involvement in the 2nd annual Twins Faith Night at Target Field. “We have a responsibility to utilize what God has given us and He has given us (Twins players) a really cool platform to be in the public eye and to hopefully compete and play the game as God would want us to, and keep loving people, and to spread His love around to as many people as we can,” Gibson says.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Antioch Community Church

For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview pioneer church planters who, having firmly planted churches in urban areas of the Twin Cities, look back and share their wisdom and reflections. Here we interview Andy O’Rourke, lead pastor of Antioch Community Church in Northeast Minneapolis. Antioch Community Church is also affiliated with the Acts 29 Network Upper Midwest Region. Antioch Community Church is the second church Andy has planted.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Stadia Midwest

For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview Chris Brooks, Midwest Regional Executive at Stadia, a church planting network. We include links to Stadia Church Planter Resources, including a Church Planter Coaching Reading List, a Church Plant Budget Template, and Calculations for Facility Rentals.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Hiawatha Church, Minneapolis

The general trend in urban areas is that as the density of the population goes up, the presence of the church goes down. In response, many churches are being planted in some of the most densely populated parts of the Twin Cities. For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview pioneer church planters who, having firmly planted churches in urban areas of the Twin Cities, look back and share their wisdom and reflections. Here we interview Chris Wachter, Lead Pastor at Hiawatha Church in South Minneapolis.

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Pastor’s Column: Serving the Poor, Ministering in Mobile Home Parks

For our Pastor’s Column series, Jeff Urban of Bear Creek Christian Church in Rochester, MN shares how Bear Creek does ministry and outreach in mobile home parks. The Bear Creek community has a heart for providing for those who lack material goods, relationships and connections to others. They model their home repair program after Habitat for Humanity, yet Bear Creek serves those who don’t have adequate income to quality for Habitat. This church believes the gospel calls the Church to use its resources to meet real-world needs, in this case for repairing homes in disrepair. Photo Courtesy of Post-Bulletin.

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